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  • Dewoitine D.500 (Series) Monoplane Fighter Aircraft

    The D.500 series was a stopgap design, incorporating elements from two ages of aviation.

     Updated: 4/8/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The D.500 series proved itself an interim fighter design for the nation of France heading into World War 2 (1939-1945). It appeared through a first-flight held on June 18th, 1932 and was formally introduced for service with the French in July of 1935. It eventually served both the air and naval branches of the country and went on to see light export numbers worldwide.

    The D.500 was one of the many "bridge" fighter designs to appear prior to the World War - it still relied on an open-air cockpit and its undercarriage was fixed during flight. It did hold some rather modern elements of the period - low-set monoplane wings and all-metal internal and external construction. Compared to her neighbors of the period, France lacked consistency and innovation, particularly when compared to designs emerging from Germany and Britain at the same time.

    D.500.01 marked the first sole prototype of the series and this was followed by the initial D.500 production models which carried a Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs engine of 690 horsepower. Armament consisted of 2 x 7.7mm Vickers machine guns which would be replaced by the local 7.5mm Darne machine guns. The wings were also pre-designed to accept a machine gun each (for a total of four guns) and 101 aircraft were completed to this standard. The D.501 arrived with the Hispano-Suiza 12Xcrs engine and introduced a 20mm cannon at the nose firing through the propeller hub. Wing-mounted machine guns were also featured and 157 of this model were completed.

    D.511 retained the fuselage of the D.500 but was given new, smaller wing mainplanes and a cantilever undercarriage arrangement. It also relied on the 12Ycrs engine but only a single prototype was completed and this example was not flown in testing. It eventually was reworked into the D.503. D.503 marked a one-off prototype which carried a 12Xcrs engine. Armament followed the D.501 entry and a first flight was held on April 15th, 1935. Its performance was no better than the original D.500 so the design was discarded.

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    Dewoitine D.501 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1935
    Type: Monoplane Fighter Aircraft
    National Origin: France
    Manufacturer(s): Dewoitine - France
    Production Total: 381

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 25.10 feet (7.65 meters)
    Width: 39.67 feet (12.09 meters)
    Height: 8.86 feet (2.70 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 3,146 lb (1,427 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 4,222 lb (1,915 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Hispano-Suiza 12Xcrs in-line piston engine developing 690 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 250 mph (402 kph; 217 knots)
    Maximum Range: 612 miles (985 km)
    Service Ceiling: 27,395 feet (8,350 meters; 5.19 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 3,280 feet-per-minute (1,000 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    1 x 20mm cannon firing through propeller hub
    2 x 7.5mm machine guns mounted in wings

    Global Operators / Customers

    China (Taiwan); France; Imperial Japan (as AXD); Lithuania; Poland; Soviet Union (evaluation only); Spain; United Kingdom (evaluation only); Venezuela

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    D.500 - Series Model Designation

    D.500.01 - Prototype Model Designation; Fitted with Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs inline piston engine generating 660hp; 2 x 7.5mm machine guns.

    D.501 - Powered by a Hispano-Suiza 12Xcrs inline engine capable of 690hp; Hub-mounted 20mm cannon.

    D.502 - Floatplane Fighter Model; Provisions for catapult launching.

    D.503 - Redesignated from the D.511 mentioned below but fitted with an HS 12Xcrs powerplant.

    D.504 - Parachute Trials Model

    D.505 - Variant

    D.509 - Variant

    D.510 - Based on D.501; powered by the Hispano-Suiza 12Ycrs 860 horsepower inline piston engine; increased fuel capacity; elongated nose section; improved, fixed landing gear; 2 x MAC 1934 machine guns replacing the Darne-manufacturer ones; 1 x 20mm cannon firing through propeller hub; 120 examples.

    D.510C.1 - Variant

    D.511 - Experimental Aircraft featuring decreased wing area and span, HS 12Ycrs powerplant and 'cantilevered' main landing gear system. Redesignated to the D.503 above.

    AXD1 - Imperial Japanese designation for two examples acquired of the D.510.

    "Dewoitine Navy Type D Carrier Fighter" - IJN longform designation of AXD1.